You have likely heard the phrase “malware” used then discussing cyber security and computer repairs. But the question we hear all the time is this: “Just what is malware and how does it impact my computer?” The truth is that there are different types of malware that could be impacting you.
Too often, we throw around this phrase without really understanding what it means and not explaining it thoroughly enough. For a Basking Ridge, NJ business, malware can stop you in your tracks. It is important to not only know what it is, therefore, but also know what it could be doing to your devices.
What Is Malware?
Malware, a portmanteau for malicious software, is a piece of software that compromises the performance of your computer. There are many different types of malware that can wreak havoc on your devices. The most common are adware, ransomware, spyware, and bugs. Each one will impact your computer differently.
Some of the most common signs that your computer might be compromised by malware include:
- Slow performance
- Issues connecting to networks
- Unrecognized emails sent from your account
- Programs running or shutting down on their own
- Frequent pop-up ads
Most Common Types of Malware
Do those symptoms sound familiar? You might have one of the most common types of malware.
If your computer is experiencing any of the above issues, rest assured that most malware can be removed with the help of a professional computer repair company in Basking Ridge, NJ.
Adware, which is short for advertising supported software, is arguably the most common type of malware that automatically delivers advertisements. This is when you see pop up ads on websites that sometimes make it hard to navigate.
Often, software and applications will offer free version of their programs that come bundled with adware that actually sponsors it. This is a revenue generating tool designed to deliver advertisements. In and of itself, this isn’t really a problem. The issues arise when the adware is bundled with spyware (more on that in a minute) that tracks user activity and can even steal information.
Bots are another common type of malware that automatically performs specific operations. While some bots are created for relatively harmless reasons, such as online contests or video gaming, there are also bots that are not good news. Bots can be used in botnets (a collection of computers) for attacks and web spiders that scrape server data.
Websites can guard against bots with CAPTCHA tests that verify users as human, but sometimes they will still sneak through.
Most people think of bugs are something that is mixed or broken. These flaws can be the result of human errors in coding. Minor bugs don’t really impact a program’s behavior and can actually exist for a long time before they are discovered.
However, there are more significant bugs that can cause crashing or freezing on computers.
The ones you really have to worry about, however, are security bugs that allow attackers to get around authentications, gain access privileges, and steal information.
Ransomware is another form of malware that isn’t as common, but is somewhat terrifying. It holds a computer system captive while demanding something in return – a ransom. This type of malware restricts user access to the computer by locking down the system and displaying a message demanding the ransom or encrypting files on the hard drive.
Ransomware most commonly will spread like a normal computer worm (more on that below) and ends up on the computer via a downloaded file or through some other vulnerability.
A rootkit is a another type of malware that was designed specifically to give hackers remote access to your computer without it being detected by users or security program. Once installed, it is possible that someone can remotely take files, steal information, modify your system, alter software, install even more malware, or control the computer.
Prevention, detection, and removal of rootkits can be exceptionally difficult because they truly are very well hidden. As a result, the best thing to do is monitor computer behavior and regularly patch any and all vulnerabilities in software, applications, and operating systems.
Spyware is a type of malware that spies on user activity without the user knowing. This can include activity monitoring, data harvesting, collecting keystrokes, and more.
Spyware often has additional tasks as well, from changing security settings to interfering with connections.
Probably the most common type of malware seen in Basking Ridge, NJ, computer worms spread throughout computer networks by exploiting operating system vulnerabilities. Worms tend to cause harm by consuming bandwidth and using up web servers. This can damage the host computers.
Our team takes pride in being the most experienced team of IT professionals in Basking Ridge and all of New Jersey. You can count on us to have solutions to problems that you may not have had luck with before. When it comes to data recovery in New Jersey, you simply cannot go to anyone better. We have technical support available to the public every day of the week: you’ll have the option to talk to an experienced technician if a problem arises.
Looking for the Best Computer Services in New Jersey? Call: (908) 332-5051